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Chapter 1. Frequently Asked Questions > What are online malls and how do they w...

What are online malls and how do they work?

The idea behind online malls is similar to that of traditional shopping malls. A developer will launch a site on the Web that offers entrances and integrated shopping experiences across a multitude of product lines and vendors. Everyone is under the same roof; that roof could be the same URL or a similar-looking interface with different vendors.

Behind the scenes, many of the stores run on the same server, taking advantage of a unified shopping infrastructure, including credit card checking, digital cash acceptance, personalization tools, and so on. The mall operator charges vendors a rental fee for space on the system or takes a percentage of every transaction. As a small operator, launching a store as part of an online mall allows you to reside on a server that has been specifically created for online selling. The mall operator may also offer other services, such as promotions help and design assistance. The downside is that you might not have as much control over your site.


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